My sisters are 18 and 8. They are bright, lovely, kind girls and I just wanted to write down  some things that I want them to know: things I’ve learned, or am learning, or learning to believe. So here it is for my little sisters and any other sisters who need to hear it.

You are valuable because you are. It’s not because you are the smartest, prettiest, funniest, skinniest, or quippiest, not because you are the loudest belter, the fastest runner, or the most eloquent speaker. No, whether or not you are or are not those things the reason you are valuable is because you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of your awesome creator (Psalm 139:14, Genesis 1:27).

Have the right perspective:  you are small – Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. – Psalm 144:4 – but you are not unnoticed – Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. – Luke 12: 7.

Every morning is a fresh start. “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” — Lucy Maud Montgomery

Pay attention when you’re walking places. You’ll hear things like “Think about, whats-his-face out there flying a kite, electricity, x-rays.  I don’t know,” and “I don’t sound as much like Thor as I thought I do.”

Your awesome creator loves you. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39. I mean He really loves you. “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

Listen to people, let them be a part of your life, but don’t let their opinions rule it. “If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much” – Rudyard Kipling

Sometimes people are awful, honestly, you will be amazed. Love them anyway.

Sometimes people are wonderful, honestly, you will be amazed. Especially when you’re being awful and they love you anyway.

Friends is a good show. If you think it’s not you’re just wrong.

Never stop singing, even if you’re not very good at it, even if you don’t know the words (that’s what scatting is for).

Words are weighty. Take advantage of them and choose them wisely. “Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.” ― Natsuki Takaya

Don’t ever sacrifice kindness for cleverness (and you are both very clever, but with great power comes great responsibility). “Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.”― Elsie De Wolfe

You cannot earn your salvation, and you do not need to try. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9. 

When you date (which you don’t have permission to do until 30/35), don’t settle. You’re worth the wait, darlings. “A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” Proverbs 31:10  

Don’t compare yourself to other people. We so rarely know what’s really going on with anyone else anyway. “Comparison is the death of joy.” ― Mark Twain

Finally, eat dessert often and without guilt.

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“There is no better friend than a sister. And there is no better sister than you.” – Unknown